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renewed look for the Conrad Hotel’s interiors

Mónica Ponce de León Studio

renewed look for the Conrad Hotel’s interiors
By Francesco Pagliari -

The vast atrium of New York’s Conrad Hotel, bathed in an abstract zenithal light streaming from the roof far above, is a place where art and architecture blend. The renovation of the hotel interiors also included the adjacent spaces: the restaurant and new gift shop, a restrained elegant area offering quality souvenirs. The monumental wall drawing by Sol LeWitt - Loopy Doopy (Blue and Purple), 1999/2000 - stretches up twelve floors, its evocative weave of dynamic geometrical patterns and colors is a haunting translucent presence. The LeWitt stands across from a first floor overlooking the atrium reached by asymmetric staircases with equally divergent metal banisters located at opposite ends of the lobby. The many artworks filling the atrium make it a contemporary art walkway. Architecturally, this immense volume is an evocative fluid space, another impalpable, exquisitely designed work of art. White curved tubular steel frames cantilever over the area from the top level to form an intriguing series of layered patterns hovering in the void. Attached to the the upper and lower frames, slender polymer-fibre cables form translucent “veils”, huge impalpable tapering volumes wafting in the enormous central space. In the light-filled atrium-lobby, the contrasting materials of thread-like cables and metal rings create an ephemeral interior landscape, softening the extreme verticality of the space and setting up a series of different visual relations with the Sol LeWitt wall drawing, heightening its creative intensity and the idea of subjective perception dear to the artist. The art gallery-atrium is also a public passage, its furnishings designed to encourage socialization. Its great perceptive density reaches upwards into the monumental void, and horizontally, where the space pushes out to become the restaurant and the convention center. Contrasting the immaterial “veils” is a very physical hanging staircase leading to the first...

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